Stats to come...
Getting up to a tough day
Sunday of the Smiddy ride is one tough day. 240 kilometers lay ahead of us, after a long, tough, mental first day. We arrived at the RSL at 4.45am diligently ready early, only for a minor miscommunication which meant that only the support crew and the riders knew it was breakfast time. In temperatures which would see Scott of the Antarctic reaching for his arm warmers, we were rescued, after a little while, by the cleaner holding a vacuum cleaner rising above and beyond the call of duty in producing breakfast for 67 people. Heroic.
Roll out was delayed by 10 minutes, which saw Jimmy’s internal temperature rising to a functional level, as we made our way in to the dawn. We must thank our wonderful Nanango host, Mark Gaedtke, who, for the last 8 years has opened his home to the Smiddy peloton. Kevvy asked that Mark ring the cow bell and we were away for another day.
The riding was smooth early, and we rolled the first hour in a tight formation. Surprisingly most of the group backed up really well from the first day, and coming into a yellow room (a wee stop for those not familiar with the term) stop at 35km had us stripping off warm weather gear.
A day of falls
We stopped in Goomeri at 60km, and the road crew once again were outstanding in catering for us. On exit, Nick took the first and most innocuous fall of the day….a 5km/hr tumble out of a drink stop. Rowman took the gong for the most spectacular fall, when riding to dinner, had to wrestle apart a disagreement between his front wheel and his laundry.
Temperatures rising prior to lunch
The next stage was a little tougher with 74km into lunch at Ban Ban Springs. We’d started to roll hills and the metres climbed yesterday started to show.
Leading in to lunch the group fragmented a little, as temperatures rose to 34 degrees. A few riders swiftly found themselves short of water and playing the clock game leading in to a well earned break, wonderfully supplied by the ever resourceful crew, supplying egg sandwiches as a source of protein and entertainment.
A long afternoon session. Not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Melissa Oosterbrook was the butt of many jokes in the afternoon session, as she has received more knicknames than she has Bavarian plaits in her hair. So Goldilocks, Grettle, Danskecream and Dorothy, is all one Smiddy rider. After 204km it was afternoon tea, inspired by Jarrod, asking everyone as to their favourite food, biggest fish caught, first dog’s name, and favourite movies.
The long trawl home
The long final stretch was preceeded by the appearance of Errol’s mum, Hazel, at our stop a little shy of Munduberra. Much singing was enjoyed and endured with the special prize for endeavour, if not directly achievement, to the Julie Andrew’s impersonation of Claire and Julie.
We rolled in to Eidsvold at 5.35, 11 hours after our departure, as the light was beginning to fade for the second day.
Spirit award and team award
Sharky awards two jerseys each night. One is for teamwork, the recipient tonight was Paul ‘give the man a snickers’ Mason, and the Spirit award went to the unfailingly spirited Tamara.
Many thanks to Peter and Bernice from the Eidsvold Lions Club for not only putting on a fabulous spread, but for providing an ideal setting in the middle of the town green for dinner. Perfect weather and an epic day. We bonded today as a group. Epic days do that and now we’ve had two in a row.
Johnny Leyshon and Michael Jordan